School administrator Kathleen Meagher to leave for Virginia

Palo Alto's elementary director heads to larger school district in D.C. area

A top Palo Alto school administrator and former Duveneck Elementary School principal has announced she is leaving to take a a position with a Virginia public school district that is nearly twice as large as Palo Alto.

Kathleen Meagher, Palo Alto's director of elementary education since 2010, will become director of secondary education for the Arlington Public Schools outside of Washington, D.C.. Enrollment in Arlington, which runs from pre-K to 12, is 23,316, compared to Palo Alto's 12,483.

Meagher served as Duveneck principal from 2007 to 2010. She joined the Palo Alto district in 1995 as a teacher at Fairmeadow Elementary School and left the district briefly -- from 2004 to 2007 -- to be assistant principal of Los Altos High School.

"I have learned a great deal alongside tremendously talented people dedicated to providing the highest quality educational experience possible for our students," Meagher said in a statement. "My work here has enabled me to grow as an educator and a leader."

Superintendent Kevin Skelly said, "Ms. Meagher has provided wonderful leadership to our elementary schools and principals and has also provided innovative leadership for many instructional initiatives during her four years as director of elementary education. Her efforts on behalf of students and staff will be felt for years to come. We wish her all the best in her new position."

— Palo Alto Weekly staff


3 people like this
Posted by Getting worse
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2014 at 7:21 am

Didn't accomplish much as the Duveneck principal, even less as the director of elementary education, did not look happy this year. This appears to just be part of the sinking ship.

2 people like this
Posted by Duveneck parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 12, 2014 at 8:22 am

"Wonderful leadership"? Really, Superintendent Skelly? It is no secret that Kathleen Meagher was wildly disliked as Duveneck's principal, was removed after parents and teachers would no longer tolerate her arrogance, condescension, and "my way or the highway" management style, and yet--thanks once again to tenure laws--was shuffled into the safe harbor of PAUSD's administration. The fact that PAUSD protected her, despite her terrible performance at Duveneck, and continues to protect other terribly poor educators, has really soured the willingness of many to support the district, through PiE or otherwise.

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Posted by Somme people
a resident of Mayfield
on Apr 12, 2014 at 9:29 am

[Post removed.]

2 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm

[Portion removed.] I worked with her on the PTA and yes, "Duveneck parent" is correct in the description of her. Perhaps being surrounded by intellectuals resulted in her condescending, unprofessional style so she could feel better about herself. To do well in PAUSD, administrators have to know how to work well with people and compromise, rather than dictate. [Portion removed.]

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Posted by Anne
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm

[Post removed.]

2 people like this
Posted by former_teacher
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2014 at 10:13 am

former_teacher is a registered user.

FYI, principals (site administrators and other administrators) are not protected by "tenure" laws. They are at-will employees and can be fired.

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Posted by Crescent Park Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 14, 2014 at 11:55 am

Crescent Park Mom is a registered user.

I was on the PTA Board when Ms Meagher was at Duveneck. I, and many other parents, thought she was wonderful! Her teachers really enjoyed working with her as well. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy working with her "Duveneck Parent" and "Mom" but I don't agree that she was "wildly disliked". She left Duveneck on her own because she was really good at and really enjoyed the administrative side of curriculum development not because she was forced to go. Your information is incorrect.

A little known fact about Ms Meagher is that she was instrumental in ensuring that Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts were able to continue at elementary schools throughout Palo Alto. If it hadn't been for her, these organizations would have been on a path to extinction in Palo Alto. We should be grateful to her for fighting to keep these programs at our schools.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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